Plan a casual evening at this Loisaida spot, which occupies the former Banjo Jim’s space. The spirit of that honky-tonk joint remains alive with eclectic tunes on the speakers and an upright piano that hosts the occasional jam session. The menu abounds with ambitious bar snacks, including olives marinated in rosemary, red pepper and citrus ($5), and a salad of shaved brussels sprouts ($8), simply dressed with lemon and honey. Hearty sandwiches ($9–$12) are the real draw; we like the pernil romero ($10), a heap of slow-roasted pork shoulder marinated in sour-orange juice and garlic, served on a crunchy baguette. Embrace the space’s divey history and down a few $5 Miller High Life longnecks.
When to go: Daily 5–7pm
Drink this: This laid-back bar won the ’hood’s affection by coupling solid drinks with a rambunctious atmosphere. Check it out during happy hour, starting next week, when you can sip a $6 glass of the bright, light-bodied Stellina di Notte prosecco, a $4 bottle of beer-snob favorites like the dense, chocolaty Left Hand Milk Stout, or a $7 Sazerac or Manhattan.
Eat this: In addition to the regular menu offerings, including small bites like chicken liver pâté with applewood bacon, happy-hour grub includes $1 oysters sourced from farms up and down the Eastern Seaboard.
The scene: Alphabet City is a prime destination for a craft-cocktail crawl. You might stumble across a few patrons making a night of it, skipping among Pouring Ribbons, Evelyn Drinkery, Elsa and the Wayland.
“Suspend a beautiful raw oyster in liquor and it looks more like the formaldehyde-preserved brain of a tiny mammal than a delicious bivalve. Sure, it’s traditional, but you can’t taste a thing as it slides down your gullet, cushioned in booze.
At The Wayland, a lovely low-key bar in the East Village, the shooter is pulled apart for cocktail hour and presented on ice: An impeccable Blue Island oyster on the half shell with a side of mezcal that’s been infused with raw shallots and spiked with a little pickle brine.
Slurp the oyster first — enjoy it! — then take back that mignonette-esque shot. It’s an excellent way to launch yourself into a Friday night.”
Manhattan Magazine -”Garden to Glass”